English Australia Journal : English Australia Journal 27.1
EA Journal Volume 27 No 1 68 about 5 minutes to work in their groups and check how many lexical chunks and/or word combinations they are able to identify among the jumbled words. Elicit a few examples from around the class and write these on the board e.g. good morning, what time and miss you so bad. At this stage, it is a good idea to draw the learners’ attention to the use of non-standard English forms such as livin’, makin’, wanna and others, and emphasise that these should be avoided in writing practice. Once the learners have had a go at identifying some lexical chunks and/or word partnerships, play the song for them to listen to and come up with more lexical chunks or collocations. Please note that the objective of the task is not to have the learners trying to write down all the words from the song, but only lexical combinations which they are able to identify on their worksheets while listening to the song. You will probably have to play the song more than once at this stage, especially as the song is rather fast and loud. To help the learners with this task, pause the song at specific points to allow them time to achieve more success with the task. As a follow-up activity, work with the class on clarifying the meaning of unknown vocabulary. Then, conduct a whole-class discussion about the content of the song, that is, feelings and other hidden meanings. For homework, you could get the learners to write an email or a letter from one lover to another using the context of the song as a springboard. Finally, give the learners the original lyrics of the song (Appendix, Song Lyrics 2) for the learners to sing the song. TIP: If you have access to the Internet in your classroom, you can play the official music video for this song to your learners. The URL address for this song on youtube is as follows: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntSBKPkk. ConClusion In conclusion, some classroom practitioners may argue that with the inexhaustible supply of songs in today’s world, songs can become out-dated very quickly. Others will support the view that use of songs for language instruction requires a great deal of preparation. However, as the activities in this article hopefully demonstrate, the use of songs in classroom has always had its value as a stimulus for engaging learners in both language and skills practice due its motivational, cognitive and pleasurable aspects. As Murphey (1993, p.6) points out, ‘for a variety of reasons, songs stick in our minds and become part of us, and lend themselves easily to exploitation in the classroom’, as an enjoyable source of complex language ready to be exploited in class, as the basis of language-focused lessons on grammar or vocabulary or as a catalyst for speaking and writing practice.
English Australia Journal 27.2